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SeventhSon

Avanti Rescue

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Chris, Dad and I replaced more than one set of motor mounts with, believe it or not, a bumper jack! However we found the preferred method by far was to take the old block and tackle engine hoist we rigged up between a couple of trees in Davidsonville and grab the engine by the water manifold and yank it up and slip those mounts out and in, in a jiffy. So, I was simply offering to let you use the engine hoist to lift the front of the engine enough to replace those mounts. However, you certainly can do it the way you plan. Just sayin....

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Here are the NOS manifolds.

Nice looking parts! I noticed that LH & RH are the same part, except for the length of the bolts at the outlet. This make sense as the crossover pipe coming from the the LH side was routed in front of the engine on cars with one exhaust pipe, according to pictures from an older Stude engine.

All that to say that I did wrongly the LH exhaust manifold mirror-like on my model...as I had only a picture of the RH side; I imagined that the outlet would point towards the rear, like the other one. I will let it that way!

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Thanks Roger - you have that eye for detail and noticed that. I was sort of alarmed when I took the manifolds out of the box, I thought one of them was wrong. A quick trip to the garage laid my concerns to rest - the parts match. Now, if I could just get the old ones off....

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Chris, good move on getting NOS exhaust manifolds. Was going to suggest that, but then noticed you had a line on some used ones from your brother. They are still very reasonable in price, but about 10 or 15 years ago the prices were almost give-away! Squirelled away a couple of pairs for future projects.

When you put the new manifolds on, use stainless capscrews and stainless internal tooth lock washers. You can get these at any decent sized industrial fastener supplier (watch out for hardware store stainless fasteners, some are fine and some are sub-standard Asian junk). Whoever takes the manifolds off 20 years down the road will thank you!

Keep plugging away, you will be driving by this spring! Me, I'm going to try to get the vent window frames back together today for my '54 Stude 4-door sedan, so I can finish getting the new side glass in the car.

Paul

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Brian - that's funny about the bumper jack. You jogged my memory on that one, I do remember you guys doing that. I remember that old block and tackle too - we pulled the engine out of Jean and Hal's '67 Caprice with that - hooked up to an aluminum extension ladder! In the barn - cold as the Arctic!

I'll let you know about that hoist - I might take you up on that heat riser spacer also. I was reading this article (I can post the link later) by a man with the last name Erb. Not sure if he's related to John Erb or not, but he talks about the heat riser being unnecessary. If anyone is interested they can google "Dodge Pilothouse heat riser debunked" That will probably get you there until I can link the article.

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Paul - thanks for the info. I'll look into the stainless steel nuts and washers - I was thinking about using the brass nuts that came with the flange repair kit (which I won't be needing now!). Stainless is always better, I'm sure.

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Chris,

The brass nuts are fine for the headpipes - that way if they strip out, the nut is sacrificed but the stud is not damaged.

What I was referring to as far as the stainless capscrews was for bolting the exhaust manifolds to the heads.

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Oh, sorry, didn't realize that's what you meant. I hadn't thought of that - I definitely will search those out because nobody should have to go through what I have been to get those bolts out! Thanks for the info Paul.

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Phew! What a weekend! I thought I would be able to devote most of the two days to the Avanti but the garage door opener that started to act up early in the week intruded on my fun for the weekend. So, I spent most of Saturday installing a new unit, only to have an issue with the new opener motor. So, I put all the tools away and called it a day - didn't even touch the Avanti. A new day brought a new perspective and plan, off to Sears I went and got a new motor assembly. I threw that in and we were in business.

After a break for lunch and a visit to The Home Depot I finally got to work on the Avanti. I removed the transmission mount nuts so as not to put any stress on the mount when I jacked up the motor to remove the motor mounts. I removed the lower nut on the left side motor mount, then tried to remove the upper nut. No dice. The whole motor mount was turning. After a while of that fun I decided to jack up that side of the motor and work on getting the exhaust manifold off.

Since the motor was jacked up on the left side I was able to gain just enough access to the one manifold bolt I couldn't get to the other day. I got that one out! One left to go - I continued grinding on that until the bolt head was gone. Then I grabbed a giant digging bar and worked the manifold loose (there were 2 studs, 1 broken off and the other ground off still holding on). After some time wrestling with it the manifold finally cried "Uncle" (not really, just a figure of speech).

I took what she would give me and was happy to get that - the tiny victories these days seem like huge wins at this point.

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Those new manifolds will finally have a new home to go to, after you finish removing whats left of the bolts.

Thanks for posting photos of the new manifolds. They really look nice.

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Thanks Bleach, I'm looking forward to the day I can bolt those manifolds on. The goalpost seems to be moving further away though! One step at a time...

Roger, you're right, I can never envision using those manifolds again, but you never know!

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Tiny steps, tiny steps. One night, one broken off bolt comes out. Now I know why guys tear cars down to the frame and build back up. Just wreck all the nuts and bolts out, fix the rust, paint and start rebuilding. I never expected to be bogged down with rusty bolts putting up such a fight, but I am. As I said earlier today, the goalpost seems to be moving further away. That's OK though, I'll just revise the plan - make adjustments. Hope I can keep the goal in sight.

Bolt extractors, what can I say. I've bought several in the last couple of weeks, most of which have been of little use. Two stand out though, the Grip-Tite sockets and the Craftsman Stud Extractor I bought today just for that broken off bolt at the rear of the left side exhaust manifold. That worked pretty well, gripped the stud and brought it out. Of course, now it won't let go of the stud - I'll have to get that stud out before I can use it on the other couple of broken off bolts I have.

I had my doubts about the Grip-Tite sockets, but they came through. I was surprised, they grabbed the worn out bolt heads and brought most out. A couple were (are) too worn down, so I get to have fun grinding those down. Ah well, I'll just look forward to the day when I can start putting new bolts back in.

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If that Craftsman stud extractor is like mine, just drive the "drive" part out of the extractor from the side you show in the second picture and the whole thing will fall apart. The drive part is just held in the tool with a pressure fit ball similair to the ball to hold the sockets to the ratchet and extentions.

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Hey Chris, after reading your stud-pulling post, I just remembered something about our Avanti. I had a new exhaust system put on a while before we sold it, and after a couple of weeks, went back to get him to check the gasket or ??/ between the head pipe and manifold since it had a small leak-sounding noise. I drove it rarely for the next couple of months, then we sold it. The gentleman we sold it to called later and asked about a couple of heads I still had and said it was not a leak at the fitting, but the head was cracked at the rear stud !! Never knew or heard of that , but check around before you re-assemble, (and my manifolds were not fooled with except to attach the pipe), John

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Thanks Dale and Vern, I'll take a close look at that tonight. I didn't realize the unit may come apart. I would put it in a vise, but I don't have one! Or any place to affix one! They are handy to have around though...

John, I hope yours was an isolated case! I'll take a look at both heads before putting the manifolds on, even though I probably wouldn't be able to see a hairline crack.

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I just read all 11 pages of this thread. I am inspired. You are doing a fantastic job documenting your restoration!! I shall be an avid follower.

I must say, though, DON'T USE FRAM OIL FLILTERS!!! They are crap. I would recommend Purolator Pure 1, Motorcraft (made by Purolator) or Wix, or some similar well made brand.

I may have to come out of retirement and get a part time job. I want to get another old car to fix up. Haven't had an old one since 2004, when I sold my '67 Lincoln Continental.

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Chris, you may in fact be able to see cracks if they are there. Clean the areas by wiping with a dry or barely dampened rag, then wipe lightly with a rag or towel with a bit of alcohol on it. After that, fluff some fine white powder like cornstarch or baby powder on the areas. Wait a few minutes (while watching), and if it's cracked, the oil/grease/whatever trapped in the crack will show by staining the white powder- -it works. Yeah, hope mine was an isolated case too, but sure hated not realizing it before the folks bought our car, I'd have fixed it before advertising it. I would have bet money that like times in the past on other cars, it was just a gasket. Good luck, John

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Thanks for checking out what I'm doing Jay, it means a lot to know people are reading and taking an interest. Someone else, I think it was "straightshooter" said not to use Fram filters. That Fram filter was a gift from my friend John (known on here as unimogjohn), as a sort of "welcome to the Avanti club" gift. After I use them I was thinking about getting the filters from Studebaker International for about 10 bucks that are like original. Just to support SI. But I'm not sure if they are any good - made by AC? Not sure. I'll check them out, for sure. Thanks again for checking in Jay.

John, I'll try that procedure to check for cracks. If I find anything you'll hear my scream all the way in Hawaii! Thanks.

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Well Dale, I guess my stud extractor was built different from yours. It has (or had) a thin rubber ring holding it together (must be the Chinese way of doing things). No pressure ball like the ratchet/socket combo - just a flimsy rubber ring that ripped apart when I gave it a knock with a drift pin and hammer. I'll just drop by Sears tomorrow and trade it for a new one - they still warranty their tools for life, hmmm?

So tonight, after I got tired of breathing grinding dust from grinding on one of the manifold bolts, I decided to climb underneath the car and have a look at the last remaining bolt on the manifold. I had tried to remove it from the topside, but couldn't get anything to grip it. From underneath I saw there was a bit of grease on the bolt head so I got a small wire brush and cleaned it up. Then I noticed I had a clear shot at the bolt from the gap in between the frame and inner fender. I grabbed a ratchet and extensions and, since I couldn't get a socket to grab it, I got the bolt extractor set. The same one I was bad mouthing the other night. It must have taken offense, because it grabbed the bolt. I thought, "Hmmm...this feels like it might take hold here." I grabbed the 2 foot Pipe 'O Leverage, slid it over the ratchet handle, and exerted pressure. The bolt turned! All the way out! The extractor socket grabbed so tight I had to bang on the bolt to get it loose.

So, I take back what I said - the bolt extractor is redeemed.

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The Battle of the Exhaust Manifolds continues. I spent 15 minutes at lunch finishing up grinding on the last bolt head, then grabbed the giant pry bar (digging bar) and loosened the manifold off the studs (one broken off, one ground off). The manifold came loose but the breather tube was holding everything in place. So tonight I removed that (which I had just put back on when I did the oil pan) and the manifold fell off. Yay!

Then I turned to removing the bolt studs with my new stud extractor I acquired today in exchange for the broken one. That's when things got ugly. Yep, I wrung both of them off. Sigh. Honestly, I'm surprised I didn't wring more of the bolts off, tight as they were. Now I get to drill them out - thanks to Providence they weren't on the other side, with the steering box in the way. The fun continues...

I called Dave Thibeault yesterday to ask about wheels and an exhaust system. I almost forgot to ask him about deleting the heat riser. He said that was a good idea, they cause a lot of trouble. So, that was a good bit of news - I asked if he had a spacer to fill in for the heat riser and he said he makes them just for that purpose. So, I ordered one of those and a complete stainless steel exhaust system. I'll hold off on the wheels for a few weeks - if I don't make some progress on getting this car back together I won't need 'em!

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Chris, is there any way you can heat those up before you try and extract? Are you going to use an "easy out" or comparable tool to remove the bolts? You should use a punch to center your drill bit as much as possible. I have had some problems not doing that in similar situations. I would try and heat the top and side of the area where the stud is implanted then attempt the extraction. Heat is your best friend in these situations, at least in my opinion. If you can use an easy out and get the stud out without harming the threads you will save some steps. Just sayin.... Brian

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